The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the state Fair Employment Practices Act (G.L. c. 151B) protect employees with disabilities from discrimination, and require that employers provide such employees with reasonable accommodations that will let them perform the essential functions of their jobs.
Enforcement of these laws can be quite complex. In order to be protected, you must establish that you have a legally protected disability. Under the ADA and other disability laws, a disability is a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs a major life activity. Major life activities are those core activities of your life such as walking, hearing, seeing, breathing, and working. Many conditions, however, do not meet the definition of a legally protected disability. We can help you sort out these distinctions.
State and federal law also protect other categories of individuals from disability discrimination: those who have a history of having a disability, and those who are perceived to have a disability which substantially impairs a major life activity, even if the perceived disability does not exist or does not meet the legal definition of a disability.
If you believe that you have been a victim of disability discrimination, you should know that the deadlines for acting under the above laws can be very short. We can help you determine whether or not your employer’s actions constitute unlawful disability discrimination and assist you in moving forward.
Our experience in advocating for working individuals with disabilities is extensive. Whether you need assistance in negotiating reasonable accommodations for working conditions or your situation requires litigation, we can help.